Council moves to contour a tower bid atop the Metropolitan Hotel

Council moves to contour a tower bid atop the Metropolitan Hotel
Council moves to contour a tower bid atop the Metropolitan Hotel

Melbourne City Council earlier this week presided over a Melbourne Planning Scheme Amendment to apply an interim heritage overlay at 263-267 William Street. The move is in response to an application to develop a tower atop what is currently the Metropolitan Hotel.

During October last year an application covering the watering hole was lodged with the intentions of creating a commercial office tower atop the hotel. The application's status in now on hold, although plans for the tower may well proceed in time.

Mirroring a number of developments across the CBD in particular, the Metropolitan Hotel was identified as having individual heritage significance via City of Melbourne reviews, yet carries no heritage overlay.

Within the Report to the Future Melbourne (Heritage) Committee, heritage consultants Context cited the building as "having local historical and social significance to the City of Melbourne as ‘a representative example of a corner hotel building from the interwar period’ and in terms of use and typology is becoming rare in the central city."

Councillor Rohan Leppert noted that "Heritage Overlay" won't stop a tower, but could give the pub a lot more breathing space and some more dignity as a heritage building."

Council moves to contour a tower bid atop the Metropolitan Hotel
Peddle Thorp's take on a reworked Metropolitan Hotel

Architecture firm Peddle Thorp's initial design sought the partial demolition and construction of an office tower above the hotel. Spanning approximately 80 metres the tower holds 16 levels of dedicated commercial office space with a single basement level and a reinstated hotel at ground level.

Should the tower proceed it is possible that a setback to William Street will be included as part of a redesign.

The Metropolitan Hotel last changed hands in 2016 when CBRE City Sales were appointed to move the site; it subsequently sold for $8.61 million to a local investor. According to CBRE City Sales the sale reflected a yield of 2.38% - the strongest ever received for a Melbourne CBD pub.

The bid to redevelop the Metropolitan Hotel brings it into line with a number of historically significant buildings around the CBD and Southbank that are subject to development.

Urban.com.au recently covered the intended demolition of the Melbourne Theosophical Society at 124-130 Russell Street; another historic building that has no present heritage protection. Also last week Melbourne City council voted in favour of the partial demolition and subsequent tower behind the Robur Tea Company building at 87-127 Queensbridge Street.

Other notably historic buildings subject to development include the former Great Western Hotel at 204 King Street and 244-248 Flinders Street which is awaiting a VCAT hearing.

Lead image: metropolitan.melbourne

Mark Baljak

Mark Baljak

Tags: 
Melbourne Heritage Peddle Thorp

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Mark Baljak's picture
MCC planning register notes it as being at VCAT. Likely two scenarios are that either MCC's platform is slow to mirror approval or the developer has taken it to VCAT to challenge conditions
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CityZen
Thanks Mark - I should think the latter, given that from memory the approval was granted (thankfully) with quite strict heritage controls. Hopefully vcat sees things the same way (ha!)
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CityZen
Hi - do you or anybody know why 244 flinders is at vcat? I thought the permit was granted
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